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Register now, be prepared for Kiwanis Auction

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By Ken Stone

The Kiwanis Charity Auction has snuck up on us for the 12th time. The dates are Feb. 4 and 5. The programming goes live at 6 p.m. with introductions and discussions about the featured items, how to bid and information about Kiwanis and what your money helps them/us do.
Next week, in the Grant County News and Express and online at www.grantky.com, the almost official list of items, all numbered and in order, will be published along with how to pre-register for a bid number.
There are several ways you can watch and bid.
Come to the Williamstown City Building, enter the rear door, and the commotion and excitement will be bewildering.  Members will probably be there setting up, giving out bid numbers and frolicking at 4 p.m. each evening.
Or, you can watch on cable television and bid from your home. The auction is live on Williamstown Cable 16 and Insight 21.
Or, ask your favorite restaurant, or any business with cable access, to turn the auction on and watch from there. Remember to call us and let us know if you are watching from a restaurant and we’ll mention you on the show.
Or, have an auction party at your home for family and friends who do not receive the programming.  Try to outbid them and make a game out of the experience.
Prior to the auction, get a bid number by calling 823-5421.  Skinner Furniture will answer the phone, and if you let them know you want a number, they’ll give you the best number you have ever had. If you forget your bid number, just call the phone number on the auction television screen and a Kiwanis representative will remind you.
Before you do anything, remember that Kiwanis members are all volunteers and doing work for the betterment of our community. Be nice. Rudeness or anger is unacceptable and can get you banned for life from future participation.  If you can help us do a better job, then please become a member.  Kiwanis membership is open to everyone over the age of 18.  There are Kiwanis clubs for school age volunteers.
As always, heed the following valuable lesson.
Time is extremely precious during the auction. Register now and be prepared to bid. The first items begin selling at 6:30 each evening and things move fast, get frantic and a fraction of a second can win or lose the item you want.
To TRY and insure you have the winning bid, we strongly suggest you bid high with your first bid.  If you bid low, you may not be able to get in a second bid. The phone will often be extremely busy, especially as an item’s time is almost up.  We have to sell each board of six items and move on.
The featured items will be offered for sale at the beginning of each evening. If a featured item has the appropriate bid (meeting reserves if they have them), the item will sell. For example: the pop-up camper, as of this writing, has a $700 bid.  It may be the first item to sell on Friday. If a featured item doesn’t immediately sell, we will move on and sell it to the first appropriate bid that comes in.
It is the discretion of the auction staff when an item sells, but the rule is normally when the bidding stops.  Larger priced items may be held a bit longer than other items.  If an item is declared sold, BUT a similar or higher bid was made and on its way to be posted, then the last two bidders will be given a change to bid head to head with each other.
A good bidding rule is, if you know the value, then bid four-fifths the price. But that’s up to you and you could luck out with a low-ball price or you could lose the item in the last seconds.
On higher priced items we will not accept bids that are only $1 more. We may set limits and will announce them during the auction.
Remember, it is a charity auction and all the money is used by Kiwanis in many local projects and programs.  Therefore, some people will pay more than the value because the money goes to the betterment of the community.
This year, we accept Master Card and Visa. You can pay for your purchases and pick most of them up at any time during the auction.  We will give you instructions on how and where to pick up items during the week after the sale. We will try and contact the winning bidder if items are left unclaimed for 10 days. After 10 days we will re-sell the item or sell it at another event.  Special arrangements can be made if necessary.
Upon selling an item we will give its name and number, price and winning bidder’s number.  
A Kiwanis member will be available at the auction and by phone to help answer your questions. If you think we are selling items too fast, then you must bid higher and faster. We only have an allotted amount of time.
The Kiwanis Auction raises most of the money we use for the year. All the money goes to local Kiwanis projects. Kiwanis meetings are every Wednesday; noon to 1 p.m., at El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant and anyone may attend.
And a final note:  All the items in the auction have been donated.  In this financially stressed year, local businesses have poured out their hearts in charitable giving.  Please give back to them by supporting our local businesses.
Take time, at some point very soon, and visit at least five small businesses you have never visited before. Walk in, look around and see what community is all about.
(Ken Stone is publisher of the Grant County News. He can be reached at kstone@grantky.com or by calling 859-824-3343.)